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VIDEO: Fireboat for Kuwait is packed with innovations

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Twin Volvo Penta 1,000 hp diesels paired to MJP waterjets give the boat a loaded speed of 44.5 knots

A FireStorm 50’ fireboat delivered by Kingston, Ontario, headquartered MetalCraft Marine Inc. (MCM) to the Kuwait Fire Service Directorate incorporates the very latest in technology available for fire fighting and search and rescue.

Though this is the fourth FireStorm 50′ ordered by the KFSD since 2015, continuous improvement in systems design are key elements at MCM and this boat incorporates a number of firsts. It is the first Firestone to be powered by powered by twin Volvo D13 1,000 HP diesels and is propelled by the first Marine Jet Power 310X mixed flow waterjets installed in North America. The combination of lighter weight engines coupled to lighter jets with higher thrust, pushed the typically heavily laden fireboat to 44.5 knots.

MetalCraft prefers to use ZF Marine gears. ZF sized the gears to match the jet impeller size and engine speed with zero loss in efficiency at the high or low end of vessel performance.

Engine room ventilation is provided by Delta T Systems of Florida.

The boat’s electronics are Raymarine’s latest offerings, the Axiom PRO Series. The boat has three 16” screens and one 8” screen in the aft helm’s hinged enclosure, all screens are built into the consoles. The screens can display all camera systems including stabilized FLIR M Series night vision camera, as well as provide remote drone control and World Wide Web access. Additionally, they can be preloaded with SAR rescue patterns. The boat also has the latest in Radio Direction Finding technology: The Rhotheta R,T-500 M can not only interpret the radio hex code of a mayday call but also pinpoint the location via Doppler technology.

The boat’s HVAC system uses twin 27K BTU Dometic Cruise Stowaway Turbo Air HVAC units each capable of cooling the entire vessel cabin spaces with a back-up engine-driven 36K BTU Arctic Wolf compressor, for use in the case of an AC power supply malfunction.

The fire main system, a MetalCraft proprietary design, is fully compliant with NFPA 1925 standards. The fire pump has oversized sea chest intakes that are easily cleaned from inside the vessel. The oversized long radius elbows, and oversized manifolds help to achieve pumping numbers well over-rated capacity. The twin W.S. Darley ZSM 3000 pumps achieved 7,500 gallons per minute in sea trial testing. A standard fire truck pumper can pump 1,250-1,500 GPM. MetalCraft notes that W.S. Darley has no problem providing service in Kuwait or any other place in the world and offers a three-year warranty on all its their pumps.

The Fire pumps supply roof and bow mounted EXM Scorpion 2500 GPM remote controlled monitors by Elkhart Brass. The vessel is also equipped with twin Bronze Copperhead 1250 GPM manual monitors on the aft deck. The generator is a Kohler 20 kW, to support multiple large electric dewatering pumps. Kohler, too, is well supported in the Middle East.

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